Crazy for Crust

Easy Pretzel Buns

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Quick, name one kind of bread you cannotstopeating. For me? Soft Pretzels. I can’t even buy them or make them without eating the whole batch, which is why this recipe is probably going to be my curse.

I made Easy Pretzel Buns out of frozen dinner rolls. No flour, no mixer, no mess. Just a few hours of rising time and you get pretzel rolls for any meal!

Easy Pretzel Buns made with frozen dinner rolls! Only 10 minutes of active work gets you amazing pretzel rolls!

Want to know the definition of love? It’s when all of the Annie dresses are on clearance and it takes going to 5 stores to find one that fits.

Oh yeah, my family did that. #familyoftheyearawardgoestous

So, if you didn’t know, Jordan is overly obsessed with the new Annie. She begs me to take her again every day (note: she’s seen it four times now in the theatre). Obviously, her birthday party next month is all about Annie, which meant she needed the Target dress. You probably saw the displays last month – all the Annie clothes from the movie?

{Don’t get me started on how the Target poster display had a white girl in the Annie dress. Um, I think they mis-casted that photo shoot.}

Anyway, come to find out that the Annie clothes are on…clearance. Our store was out of her size. Tears followed. But, since we have too much time on our hands and because we’re wrapped around her little finger, we called the grandparents. They live a few hours away.

They went to three Target stores near them. No dress.

{Can we talk about how many Targets there are? Jeesh.}

Then Mel called around to other stores in our area and proceeded to take the afternoon off working and drive an hour round trip to get the dress.

Um, Jordan might be a little spoiled. I’m just keeping the stigma of only children high up there in everyone’s minds. (I’m an only child too, I was spoiled, and I turned out okay.)

This whole story has nothing to do with pretzel buns except that as much as Jordan is obsessed with Annie, I’m obsessed with soft pretzels. (I love them so much I’ve even made them out of cake mix. Twice.)

Easy Pretzel Buns made with frozen dinner rolls! Only 10 minutes of active work gets you amazing pretzel rolls!

{I know, it looks like the color in that photo is some sort of weird new filter. It’s not. That’s the color of the bun and that’s the color of my hands when it’s cold. It’s a thing.}

I made pretzel buns a long time ago, from a Guy Fieri recipe. They were good, but they took such a long time. Mix the dough, let it rise. Punch it down, let it rise. Cut it up, let it rise. Boil, bake. OhmigoshIjustwanttoeatonerightnow!

These? Are not those pretzel rolls. These? Are easy. Like, no mixing. No flour. No mess. I started this recipe with frozen dinner rolls.

RIGHT? I’m a genius. (Probably not, I didn’t google. I like to think I came up with the idea. Especially since I did these easy pretzel bites last year.)

The fact that these require literally no work could be a good thing…or a bad thing. I don’t know, are you dieting?

Easy Pretzel Buns made with frozen dinner rolls! Only 10 minutes of active work gets you amazing pretzel rolls!

Okay, so let’s break down the recipe.

I started with Rhode’s Dinner Rolls. I always have them in my freezer because I like to make monkey bread with them and serve them for dinner occasionally. They come frozen individually, so you can grab 1 or 9 or 12 or whatever you need. I’m sure there are other brands and you can use any one you like.

Since the rolls are frozen, you need to let them thaw and rise a little bit. Place them in a pan (like a 9×13″) that’s been sprayed with cooking spray. Cover and let them sit for a few hours until they’ve thawed and then doubled in size. Now, if it’s winter and your house is cold, this might take longer. I find that they rise quicker if I place the pan on a preheated oven. The heat comes off the oven and helps the yeast do it’s magic.

You don’t want these to get so huge that they collapse when you touch them. Double in size is perfect, err on the side of smaller. I made these the first time with just thawed not risen rolls and they worked fine, but they were just small.

Once they’ve risen, you boil them in baking soda water. The baking soda helps with the browning and texture. Then you brush them with butter and salt and bake. All in all? It’s about 10 minutes of active time: just the boiling. The rest can be done while you’re at work or seeing a movie for the millionth time or going to Target.

The only other question is how to eat them? (And, really, if you’re asking me that, I don’t know if we can be friends anymore.)

  • Dinner rolls that are pretzels – wow your kids.
  • Lunch sandwiches – they’re perfect for lunch boxes.
  • Dip them in soup.
  • Dip them in cheese. It is Super Bowl season, after all.
  • Eat them plain, hidden in a closet, because you’re supposed to be dieting.

Whatever, just make these. You can thank me in Annie merchandise.

Easy Pretzel Buns made with frozen dinner rolls! Only 10 minutes of active work gets you amazing pretzel rolls!

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Servings: 9 + rolls

Easy Pretzel Buns

Prep Time:
5 hrs
Cook Time:
15 mins
These Pretzel Buns are SO easy - they start with frozen dinner rolls!


  • 9 frozen dinner rolls — such as Rhodes (you can make more, see note)
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon butter — melted
  • Coarse pretzel — sea, or kosher salt


  1. Plan ahead. Even though these are “easy” they still require rising time.
  2. Note that different brands of frozen rolls might have different thaw/rise times. Check the back of your package; the Rhodes ones I use say to let sit for 3-5 hours before baking.
  3. Place your frozen rolls evenly spaced in a 9x13” pan. (Make sure they have space to grow but won’t touch each other.) Cover with plastic wrap and let sit until thawed and doubled in size. This will take about 3-5 hours, depending on how warm it is. I find that turning on the oven and leaving the pan on top will reduce the rising time significantly. Try not to let them puff too much or they will collapse when boiling. Just double is perfect.
  4. Once the rolls have risen, preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silpat liner.
  5. Fill a large pot halfway with water and bring to a boil. Add baking soda to the water. It will boil up when you add it, so it’s important you leave room in your pot. Boil the rolls, 2-4 at a time depending on your pot size, for 30 seconds on each side. Drain with a slotted spoon and place evenly spaced on your baking sheet.
  6. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 9-13 minutes until they are golden brown.
  7. Serve with dinner, lunch, or as an appetizer!

Click HERE for more Pillsbury Dough Recipes! 

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Almond Crunch Soft Pretzels (13 of 14)

45 Minute Dinner Rolls


Cake Batter Soft Pretzels

Cake Batter Soft Pretzels (4 of 7)

Easy Cinnamon Sugar Soft Pretzel Bites

Easy Cinnamon Sugar Soft Pretzel Bites (2 of 6)w

Sweets from friends:
Outrageously Cheesy Stuffed Pretzel Bombs by The Slow Roasted Italian
Peanut Butter Filled Pretzel Bites by Two Peas and Their Pod
Macaroni ‘n Cheese Stuffed Pretzel Bites with Bacon by Foodness Gracious

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  1. I love the shortcut….makes this recipe beyond easy. Actually, way too easy 🙂 I was recently in an airport, long layover, time killed at the bar and then Auntie Anne’s pretzels was calling my name so hard 🙂 Couldn’t resist those carbs. LOL Pinned!

  2. These pretzel buns look amazing, Dorothy! I’m definitely a sucker for soft pretzels and rolls. I love how easy these cuties are to whip up. Can’t wait to try them out!

  3. You’re such a great mom! And your husband’s a great dad. Besides, going to Target is always fun. Even if their photo shoots leave much to be desired.
    These are totally genius. No Googling needed. The prize goes to you! Delicious!

  4. Easy is right– there are no excuses not to make these! Not that I’d want to make up an excuse. Pretzel buns are one of my favourites, so I am excited to try these soon!

  5. What a great timesaver to start with frozen dinner rolls. I’ve tried making pretzel buns from scratch, but they didn’t turn out so well. I’ll have to give this recipe a try!

  6. I love how passionate Jordan is about the things she loves. That’s a great characteristic to have! I also love these pretzel buns. It sounds like a recipe that I could pull off (I suck at pretzel making). Definitely giving this a go!

  7. You are my hero – both for these crazy easy pretzel buns that I’m totally in love with, but also for being a crazy awesome mom and finding the Annie outfit. Seriously – starting with dinner rolls – I didn’t google either, but I totally think you did it first and are a genius. 🙂

  8. Quick name any kind of bread? Umm….anything and all.
    I am a sucker for pretzels, pretzel rolls, pretzel any form as long as they fit in my mouth. 
    I think we’re  not the only ones though. My German Soft Pretzel Sticks have been pinned 150,000 times so we have some fellow other ‘lover’s out there. 😉

    Pretty and Pinned!

    Happy Monday Dorothy!

  9. Aaaaand, now I’m craving your buns. Heh. 😉

  10. I cannot get enough pretzel rolls! This super easy recipe is going to be very dangerous for me!

  11. Pretzel buns get me every single time!  I can’t stop eating them either!  These are perfection!

  12. Just clarifying; pretzels are the best food in the world! And you made them with only 10 mins active time?! Dorothy, you seriously have cracked the code to almost instant pretzels! Glad Jordan got her dress – family of the year definitely goes to you. To make the pretzels buns from scratch, if I have the willpower, could I just use a regular white bread dough?   

  13. my girls are also obsessed with the new Annie movie  .. we’ve seen it twice and have the CD, in the car and in the house. .  they already know all the words to all the songs. .  🙂 and I should not be seeing these pretzel buns!!! I am doing a juice cleanse and SO want one of these!!! love how easy they are . .. totally trying this later this week and I can EAT! 

  14. Those definitely sound dangerous, far too easy!  I could easily eat soft pretzels every day.   Although that likely wouldn’t be a great idea!  🙂  So good!!

  15. Your daughter is very lucky to have parents like you guys.

    I love your personality…i swear you have the gest sense of humor of any site I know. Were you the ‘funny one’ at school growing up? I feel so connected with your blog. You allow your readers to become a part of your life and I love that. 

    • LOL! No way – I was (and still am) the one that never talks to anyone. Ever. I was painfully shy and a total outcast in school. I think blogging gives me more confidence…on the internet at least. 🙂 Thank you so much!!

  16. I am TOTALLY obsessed with soft pretzels as well. And my post-pregnancy butt is not at all thankful. Loving this super easy version! P.S. Is it bad that I haven’t seen Annie yet? I’m dying to, but it turns out it’s not as easy to get out with a 3 week old baby and a toddler… 🙁

  17. Oh these look delightful! My husband was diagnosed with celiac about 8 years ago, which was before the pretzel bread craze, so he has never tried it! I think I am going to try a gf version of this soon!

  18. These look amazing, Dorothy! Soft pretzels are my weakness!! I used to work at a soft pretzel stand and can never resist them.  Love how easy these are with the Rhodes rolls!  You guys are the sweetest parents too!

  19. We haven’t seen Annie yet, but we plan on doing it soon!! I love how easy these buns are, starting from rolls. GENIUS.

  20. Love the idea of these pretzel buns and that no mixer is required.

  21. Genius! Love this idea, Dorothy! Can’t wait to try them!

  22. Are you a genius? Is that even a question? Um, YES. Gimme!

  23. I’ve only made the lonnnnng way pretzel bread. Totally worth it but you’re so right. Sometimes you just WANT IT NOW. Thanks for giving life to the frozen bag of rolls in my freezer!

  24. This is sooooo genius! What a great shortcut 🙂 I can’t even imagine all the things I’d make with these, so many great sandwich and burger options… or just eat them plain!

  25. Jordan is so stinkin cute that she deserves to be spoiled! I’m glad she was able to get the dress in her size. My kids are obsessed with anything pretzel so they would go crazy for these!

  26. Brilliant shortcut! I would never have thought to try this, what a great idea! 

  27. I just can’t buy stuff like dinner rolls.  We eat them all at once!
    Scott loves the pretzel rolls from the freezer section, so once in a great while, I’ll get a bag. 

  28. Oh this is heavenly! I love a good pretzel anything! I will take two in the closet please! 😉

    And I will second the too many targets problem. And yet none of them still have what I wanted. They are just close enough that they are doable to drive to and just far enough that when they don’t have what you want you feel like you wasted hours! Oh target…

  29. I really do love homemade pretzels, but you are right, they seriously take like half a day!  You are now my hero.  These are just fabulous Dorothy!

  30. Wow! You’re such dedicated parents! Soft serve pretzels are so great! I’m much more like to make them with this easier recipe.

  31. well there goes my no-carb plan, I LOVE soft pretzels, and now that I know how easy they can be, that is a very dangerous thing, almost as dangerous as being a mother to a daughter

  32. You turned out more than “ok”!  You are fabulous, and as far as school days go – I heard that you were a cheerleader in High School!  You sell yourself short!

    Great shortcut on the baking!  We all love shortcuts these days.

  33. I saw the new Annie and not gonna lie, immediately went home and started playing the soundtrack over and over and over again. Also going to confess that last time I made soft pretzels, my family didn’t even know. I hide evidence well. 😉 Ok, you are a genius. Dinner rolls?? Turned pretzels?? This needs to have its own TV show – this is my kind of transformation! Pinned!

  34. Just pulled a batch out of the oven. They are warm, soft, and so very yummy! Growing up in Philly pretzel venders were everywhere. They should add these to their carts! Thanks for yet another great recipe. 

  35. I do need yo buns in my life!  LOL!!!!!  These are seriously so freakin’ fabulous!!!  Soft pretzels are amazing and now I can have pretzel rolls in 10 minutes?  I want to kiss you!  Which makes this the most awkward comment…with the whole buns sentence too.  🙂

  36. You are the BEST parents (and grandparents) in the whole world. 5 different Targets?? I’m so impressed! I can tell how much you love your rockstar of a girl. 🙂 And these buns? Don’t give me any. I’d inhale them faster than a dog with its food bowl. Pinned!

  37. Oh dear Lord.  Now you’re speaking my language.  Sold.

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